Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ideas Quashed or Grown?

Last night we went to a meeting with people from our church that was a little unusual. Several couples from our congregation met to brainstorm and hear other people's ideas in a safe environment. Too often we get ideas and someone else pooh-poohs them when they might be a good idea. We went to lift them up to the Lord instead of squashing them.

We had another member who is a professional facilitator. Her job was to keep conversation flowing with open acceptance of everyone's ideas.

The funny thing was that out of 9 people present, none of us knew each one. We have 2 services, 8 am and 10:30 am each week, and nary the twain shall meet. We also had members that had been a part of the church since 1961-ish and a couple that joined as recently as a year ago.

The point was to take the visioning our people have been doing for the last 2 years and find a way to begin the process of implementing.

We found two main points to start with and some ideas for presenting starting points. We all began to see the how of the what :-D By setting 5 main goals. 

4 of our main goals are actually financial. No, no, no. It's not because it's all about money, lol. It is because somewhere in the past 40 years, we got off track and didn't teach our young families growing up how God deals with those things. We are seeing fear in our local community (about the economy) get translated into the people inside the church. 

So in dealing with the fear our people are living under, we recognized it was translating further and permeating how our church was run financially, and that in turn was stunting our hands on ministry. Scary thought, running a church based on fear of our economy.

Now we are looking into ideas like Crown Ministries to help us teach the families of our church about personal and family financial management to overcome all the fear we are seeing. We are envisioning reaching out into the community with these type of classes to draw in people of fear and empower them with God's principals. We see it as a way to really reach the needs of the people of our church, our surrounding neighborhood, and our entire city. 

I also love that our small group recognized the 5th goal. Creating meaningful celebrations for reaching goals along the way. It's in those common goals, reaching them through joint effort and sharing memorable moments in celebration that we mingle and develop relationships.

It's those common bonds and the knit-together relationships that matter in the end. Like last night's meeting with a bunch of strangers that happened to go to the same church--we ended by celebrating with dessert (biblically breaking bread together.) We ended by really getting to know each individual member and honoring their commitment to our common goal.

In the meantime, our ship turns around one degree at a time and heads back in the right direction.

You know what?

I'm not a numbers or financial type, but this excites me! It tells me that God is really working in our little corner of the world.

PS I invite you over to my daily blog too. God Uses Broken Vessels.


  1. God had to teach us about finances the hard way, but I'm glad I learned from Him. And sometimes, it isn't the way most pastors preach about it.

    They did Crown Financial at the church I was on staff at.

    Tackle that fear! You're right, fear isn't of the Lord.

  2. Ang,
    Sounds like the meeting was a great success. I recently read a book that might be interesting to you since you are in this phase regarding your church.
    The book is called Simple Church.
    It's really an amazing book and an amazing way to look at church.

  3. Angie, sounds like a great meeting. And I love that you broke dessert together. :)

    Our class has offered the Finanacial Peace class several times, and it's been a wonderful, life-changing class for all those who've finished it.


  4. Raising my hand here, I definitely need help in understanding how God wants me to handle finances and spending. I mean, I have a good idea, but my wants and desires get inthe way. What do you mean we can't have that right now??? Gotta learn to SAVE for what we want!
    Glad you're doing this program in your church.